8 Great Easy Concrete Paver Projects

Photo: B T/flickrThe definition of concrete pavers is "concrete blocks, designed to be used as outdoor flooring." If we may, we'd like to change that definition to read "concrete blocks, designed to be used as building blocks by grownups." So easy to use and available in so many gorgeous colors, concrete pavers allow you to express your inner creativity via that favorite American pastime … decorating your yard. Maintenance is simple, too -- just spray them down with the garden hose. And when it comes to repair, pavers can't be beat -- you can just replace one single damaged piece instead of having to redo the whole patio, walkway, fire pit, or what have you. Try one of the following 8 great paver projects this spring.

1. Path

Scatter concrete paver stepping stones artfully here and there to create a rustic path through your grass. The secret to success? Don't just place them any old how, but rather a comfortable footstep apart. To make mowing the lawn a breeze, dig a "bed" for each one to make it flush with the level of the earth -- extra work now, but you'll be grateful for summers to come.

2. Walkway

A more formal concrete paver walkway can be formed by excavating 6 1/2 inches and readying a base of crushed stone, iron piping, and sand. Lay the pavers in the prepared bed and go over them with a plate compactor to set them firmly in place.

3. Sidewalk or Driveway Border

Add a touch of class -- as well as extra width -- to your present front walk or your driveway by edging it with concrete pavers. Rent a paver cutter to get the precise shapes you'd like (and, please, wear safety goggles when slicing through pavers).

4. Steps

If your yard has a grade to it, assemble yourself a simple yet decorative staircase out of concrete pavers. They will need to be cemented in place for steadiness.

5. New Patio or Patio Upgrade

Use concrete pavers to build a pretty and practical new backyard patio. The fantastic thing about this type of construction is that you can perform a quick repair on your patio of concrete pavers -- just replace any piece that gets seriously chipped or cracked. (You did buy extras, didn't you?) It's also a piece of cake to make the patio smaller or larger to suit your needs.

Want to upgrade an existing patio? A tired concrete slab patio will get a brand new lease on life when covered with a layer of ornamental pavers -- and you will be saved the bother of breaking up and hauling away all that old concrete.

6. Fire Pit

What's a patio without some way to cook your supper outdoors? (All that sitting and relaxing can really work up an appetite, you know.) Concrete pavers are not only handsome, they're also highly fire resistant. Just make sure you construct your fire pit at least 12-20 feet away from the nearest building and beware of overhanging branches. For safety's sake, check out your local fire code before you start stacking pavers.

7. Garden Border

Mark off a garden bed with a fence of pavers placed horizontally or vertically, according to how much height you're going for.

8. Pool Surround

Create an upscale swimming pool surround out of pavers. There's a secret behind the stylish look -- concrete pavers stay much cooler and more comfortable for bare tootsies than their stone counterparts do.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

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